A subtle presence on Herne Bay’s Jervois Road, Paris Butter’s frosted windows block out the street, so you feel cocooned from the outside world. In the main dining space, dark-toned walls and sea-green leather banquettes deepen this effect. It’s relaxing.

The restaurant seats 36 people, depending on table sizes, and doesn’t feel cramped thanks to well-spaced tables. There’s only one sitting, so once you secure a table, it’s yours for the night.

From there, you’re almost entirely in the team’s hands. Diners only receive the menu after the meal, to take home. Aside from reporting any allergies or severe dislikes when you make your booking, what you’ll eat is a mystery.

Founder and owner Nick Honeyman and long-time chef and co-owner Zennon Wijlens are equally driven to push culinary boundaries. Experimentation and creativity shine in each new monthly degustation offering.

Every four- or six-course Evolution menu celebrates the best New Zealand produce and ingredients, often while riffing on nostalgic staples such as Kiwi onion dip, transformed and Paris Butter-ified through inventive and layered combinations of techniques and textures.

Add a wine pairing or order from a menu that is sectioned into new-world whites and reds (those made outside the traditional regions like France and Italy), as well as old-world bottles, plus rosé, sake, champagne, bubbles, beer and cider. A tight cocktail selection might include a Kawakawa Old Fashioned, or the Chilpancingo, named for the city in Mexico, with tequila, cherry and ginger.

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Updated: June 19th, 2023

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